By the Faculty Network for Student Voting Rights (FacNet) Curricula and Scholarship Subcommittee and the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education1
The last U.S. election was both high stakes and historic for college students. While the 2020 NSLVE (National Study on Learning Voting & Engagement) data is still being analyzed, we know that both 2018 and 2020 were good years for student democratic engagement. We do not want to lose that momentum! And while the context for voting was challenging in 2020 - fast-changing voting mechanics, mandatory social distancing, mobile student populations - faculty members across disciplines stepped up as the most direct and possibly influential nonpartisan communicators with students. We predict that this is the new normal: faculty facilitating student knowledge and participation in democracy.
National Voter Registration Day(NVRD) is a great time to refocus our efforts. Here are three things you should do:
1. Educate students about voting mechanics.
2. Know your numbers. Do students on your campus and in your department vote?
3. Confront misinformation and help students find quality information.